Monday, July 1, 2013

China claims that "Xinjiang terrorists finding training, support in Syria, Turkey"

    Monday, July 01, 2013   No comments

From a foreign student studying in Istanbul to a soldier receiving training in Syria's Aleppo, to a terrorist plotting attacks in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, 23-year-old Memeti Aili said he felt like his dream was turned into a nightmare.

Memeti Aili was recently caught by the police when returning to Xinjiang to complete his mission to "carry out violent attack and improve fighting skills" assigned by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). ETIM is a terrorist group that aims to create an Islamist state in Xinjiang, which works alongside the East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA), an Istanbul-based exile group.

"After hearing their lectures, all I could think about was jihad and I totally abandoned my studies and my family," he told the police. "But thinking back, it was like a nightmare."

An anti-terrorism official told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that about 100 people like Memeti Aili had travelled to Syria to join the fighting alongside Syrian rebels since last year.

"Their purpose is to overcome their fears, improve their fighting skills and gain experience in carrying out terror attacks," according to the official who declined to be named.

Xinjiang, in China's far west, borders central Asia and is home to 10 million Uyghurs. It was rocked by two terror attacks that killed 35 people last week, just days ahead of the fourth anniversary of the July 5 riot in the capital Urumqi that left 197 people dead.

Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, led a work team to Urumqi after President Xi Jinping on Friday arranged measures to safeguard social stability.

"We will step up efforts to crack down on terrorist groups and extremist organizations while tracking down those wanted for these crimes," Yu was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency.

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